In the words of Pablo Picasso: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Children know how to play; they are born with the instinct to explore and enjoy the world around them. Every parent has witnessed their children making their own fun with a cardboard box or a simple stick. Despite this, adults keep striving to lead their children’s playtime – to provide a structure where none is necessarily desired. Veemcdee Packs by Post taps into the idea that a child, given appropriate materials, can explore their creativity without instruction.
Lucky Dip Packs
My kids were very interested in the colourful Lucky Dip Packs. It’s immediately obvious that the contents have been carefully selected and presented. My younger child abruptly lost interest after discovering the bright stripes were not, in fact, modelling clay. (Interest resumed, after my elder child swiftly attempted to claim all the materials!) My elder child, on the other hand, absolutely loved every last scrap, at first sight. Each piece of card, paper, burlap, tissue, and twine was examined, felt, and exclaimed over.
I had high hopes that one or both children would voluntarily opt to create useful artwork. (They’ve been participating in Arts Award, and they need further items for their portfolios.) After all, they’re accustomed to helping themselves to our art supplies. This would surely be no different? Not at all. They assumed that a glossy packaged product would include mandatory instructions. They asked what they “should” do, and whether they had to do it.
Deschool Your Expectations
No directions is not a flaw in the product itself. Veemcdee Packs by Post produce quality items, at a very reasonable cost. It was apparent it was a flaw in my perception of how the materials ought to be used. Deschooling flashed across my mind and I quickly realised that I’d fallen into a trap of my own making. This wasn’t a homework exercise. It was an open-ended play opportunity and the freedom to be creative on your own terms.
As soon as I assured my children that they could make anything – or nothing – and that I really didn’t mind what they did with the art materials, a weight was lifted. If I’m honest, I did sigh a little, thinking of the lovely things they could have made. However, they really enjoyed the random things they chose to do. My younger child played a game with some paper leaves and a straw. Whereas, my elder child made a variety of “inventions” and creative items.
Veemcdee Packs by Post
Initially, I really wanted to evaluate Veemcdee Packs by Post in terms of educational worth. I wanted to see the Lucky Dip Packs as test materials for an Art curriculum; I’m accustomed to selecting and recommending homeschool curricula. I was wrong.
Often, I say that FAIL means First Attempt In Learning and mistakes show us that we’ve tried. One of the reasons why we love Art so much is that there are no wrong answers. Whatever artwork you create, it is unique and has artistic merit. When it comes to creative and imaginative play, not only are there no wrong answers but there are no closed answers in the first place. It’s all about freedom of expression and fun.
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” – Albert Einstein
Everything the kids did, they came up with by themselves – and they had fun doing it. It wasn’t the way I would have used the materials… But I rather think that was the whole point. Veemcdee Packs by Post isn’t a curriculum product. It’s a reminder that playtime does not need to be and should not be scripted. Watching my kids explore the Lucky Dip Packs, I felt the calmness among the chaos. Whether it’s for rainy day indoor play, young craft enthusiasts, or official recess activities, I think this is a product worth considering.
We received two complimentary Lucky Dip Packs from Veemcdee Packs by Post, for the purpose of reviewing the concept. However, all opinions are our own.
Packs by Post cost £6.50 GBP for a single pack or £1.50 GBP for a Lucky Dip sampler, rising to £78 GBP for a 12 month subscription. (Prices correct at time of writing.)